French jumpstart 5G mobile technology infrastructure with spectrum plan

5G mobile technology
Consumers expect 5G to usher in an era of folding mobile phones, low latency and huge bandwidth to made video experiences seamless

France’s telecom regulator, Arcep, wants to push the buildout of 5G mobile technology infrastructure aggressively, announcing it is launching a multi-pronged strategy to begin distributing spectrum for the next-gen mobile networks.

Arcep intends first to sell the spectrum at a fixed price, then auction the remaining bands and to swap some with operators in exchange for buildout of the infrastructure needed for the high-speed mobile network.

The regulator will conduct a public consultation that will end Sept. 4. It wants make sure all operators – in addition to the country’s four main telecom firms (Orange, Bouygues, Telecom, Iliad and Altice Europe’s SFR) – have equal access to the spectrum. Licenses run for 15 years, with a possible five-year extension.

The combined spectrum sale and auction will generate billions of euros in revenue for France. Germany’s June spectrum auction netted 6.55 billion euros ($7.35 billion), while Italy’s auction last year raising 6.5 billion euros ($7.29 billion).

The technology already is deployed commercially in Monaco. Chinese vendor Huawei helped the principality launched the mobile network. It’s the first European market to have commercially available 5G service.

5G mobile technology benefits

From a network standpoint, 5G is expected to reduce and even eliminate near-term congestion issues that plague mobile users. In large metro areas, 60% of consumers report connectivity issues like dropped calls.

The super-fast data transfers possible through 5G will be transformative for multiple industries. That’s especially true for the media and entertainment segment.

Consumer’s rapid adoption of streaming already has changed the M&E landscape. That change will go further – and deeper – with 5G’s deployment. And, it’s change that will not only impact video consumption, but video production, too. The 5G mobile technology will allow, for example, mobile to be a core player during production. Mobile cameras at a sporting event will send action directly to a NOC wirelessly. That content can be edited and then broadcast or streamed with very little lag time or loss of image quality.

5G may reduce latency by as much as 10X, to 4 milliseconds or better. That’s huge for live broadcasts of sports, news and music events. It also translates to no buffering for viewers of video on-demand.

Obviously, AR and VR will get a boost from 5G. Holographic projection and immersive advertising tech also benefit. All of those applications use massive amounts of data and require a network that can move huge data loads economically.

The bottom line

5G will help annual mobile media revenues reach $420 billion in 2028, double what they were in 2018, Ovum says. Digital advertising will hit its stride, too, with Ovum forecasting revenues topping $178 billion in 2028.

Samsung launching the world’s first 5G smartphone into South Korea, where commercially available 5G service launched in April. But, more major mobile device manufacturers aren’t far behind. 5G smartphone announcements will occur throughout 2019 and early 2020.

In France, meanwhile, the 5G rollout will begin in 2020 for most large cities. Total 5G coverage of the country will happen between 2025 and 2030. 

Arcep already has approved spectrum for several 5G pilot programs throughout the country. And, in the French territory of St. Barthelemy-St. Martin, operators will use 5G to offer LTE connectivity in areas where fixed broadband services have been damaged by hurricane Irma.

For streaming content distributors, broadcasters, even content creators looking to stream directly to consumers, 5G elevates mobile delivery to a crucial piece of your businesses future. Don’t wait too long.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn